Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras SA), one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, has emphasised that the tapping of its systems by the US National Security Agency (NSA) is a result of political, and not technical issues.
The NSA has been accused of tapping into the network of the Brazilian oil company in documents aired on Brazil’s biggest television network, Global, that were retrieved from the Guardian newspaper.
The revelation followed on from the release of documents that showed that the NSA had spied on the phone calls and emails of Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, leading to her cancelling a dinner invitation at the White House next month.
In an official statement released earlier this week, President Rousseff said the illegal practice of intercepting public, private and government data is a breach of national sovereignty, and does not fit into a democratic relationship between “friendly countries”.
On Petrobras, she said: “Without a doubt, Petrobras does not represent a threat to the national security of any country. It represents one of the largest oil concerns in the world and is the property of the Brazilian people.”
Speaking at SAP’s Innovation Tour in Brazil, Marcel Kaskus, Petrobras’ IT software solutions general manager, declined to comment on the NSA documents, but asserted that the oil company’s IT security was fit for purpose, and remained a constant focus.
“With the security technology that we use, we don’t restrict any investment and we try to use the best techniques possible,” he said.
“The main data of the company is stored in our own data centres, and we don’t use the cloud, and only those who have a high level of security clearance can access sensitive data,” he added.
Kaskus went on to say that the revelations don’t just affect Petrobras, but “affect the whole country”, and that the issue goes beyond the firm’s IT infrastructure, as “it’s not a technical issue, but a political one”.
He declined to reveal which suppliers the firm works with on its IT security, but said that the company uses hardware and software from the biggest companies in IT, including Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and EMC.